IMF Staff Completes Second Review Mission of the Precautionary and Liquidity Line for Morocco
November 11, 2019
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.
- Overall, Morocco’s economic policies and fundamentals are sound.
- Further fiscal consolidation will help lower the public debt to GDP ratio over the medium term while securing priority investment and social spending.
- Reforms of education, governance, the labor market, and continued improvement in the business environment are essential to raise potential growth and reduce high unemployment levels among the youth and women.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Nicolas Blancher
visited Morocco from October 29 to November 7, 2019 to conduct discussions
with the Moroccan authorities on the second review under the Precautionary
and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement. The IMF Executive Board approved the
PLL arrangement for Morocco in the amount of SDR 2.15 billion (about US$3
billion) in December 2018
(See Press Release No. 18/477).
The authorities have not drawn on the PLL and intend to keep the
arrangement as precautionary.
At the end of the mission, Mr. Blancher made the following statement:
“Morocco’s macroeconomic policies and performance remain sound, despite
volatility in cereal production, weak growth in trading partners, and
elevated external risks. The Moroccan authorities remain committed to
important fiscal, financial and structural reforms, which should strengthen
the economy’s resilience to external shocks and support higher and more
“Given a contraction in agricultural output and subdued non-agricultural
activity, growth is projected at 2.8 percent in 2019, and inflation would
slow to 0.4 percent. Unemployment rate remains at 9.4 percent in the third
quarter of 2019 while labor market participation rate is at 44.9 percent.
“The current account deficit is projected to narrow to about 5.1 percent of
GDP in 2019, while international reserves should reach US$25.5 billion at
the end of 2019, equivalent to about 5.2 months of imports. The IMF team
welcomes the authorities’ intention to gradually move to a more flexible
exchange rate regime, which will allow the Moroccan economy to better
absorb external shocks and preserve its competitiveness.
“The fiscal deficit is projected to increase to 4 percent of GDP by 2019,
due to a higher increase in capital investments than in tax revenues. The
IMF team welcomed the authorities’ plans to accelerate fiscal reforms in
the years ahead, in line with the conclusions of the Mai 2019 national tax
conference, strengthened public investment management, and improved
efficiency and quality of current and capital expenditures. These efforts
will be critical to increase fiscal space to support public investment and
social programs for the poorest segments of the population. It will also
help reduce public debt to 60 percent of GDP over the medium term.
“The IMF team welcomes the progress made in strengthening financial sector
soundness and financial inclusion, and in improving the business climate.
It encourages the authorities to accelerate structural reforms to improve
governance, combat corruption, reduce regional and social disparities and
unemployment, particularly among women and the youth, and strengthen
“The IMF team would like to thank the Moroccan authorities, as well as
private sector and civil society organizations, for the constructive
discussions and for their hospitality.”
IMF Communications Department
PRESS OFFICER: Wafa Amr
Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org